Skip to main content

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: the_full_monte Date: Aug 22, 2008 11:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Broadcast

An excellent choice!!!

My favorite year on the whole is 1970; I have a lot of years I really like but if I had to pick my top 25 shows there would probably be more from that year than any other (without really thinking about it 2/11, 2/13-14, 5/2, 6/7, 6/24, 9/19, 9/20, and 11/8 pop instantly to mind).

However, like the other poster I’ve never really thought of it as an example of “primal Dead”, but rather as a major transitional year- the lengthy psychedelic set pieces and jams that had dominated the shows in 1969 now represented only a small portion of a massive show structure that featured both acoustic and electric sets from the Dead and another from the New Riders. The focus of the setlists also shifted, first to the Workingman’s Dead material early in the year, then to the American Beauty album in the fall. On a bad night, this was nothing short of a recipe for disaster- a train wreck of hideously off-key singing, awkward and disjointed songs and jams that went nowhere. When everything was clicking, however, 1970 birthed many of the most exciting, complex, and rewarding performances of the Grateful Dead’s entire career.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 22, 2008 1:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1970

1970 is also my favorite year, or perhaps neck-and-neck with 1968. Their jamming reached a new level that year, with a muscular style that wasn't heard again.
I'd point out though that the big jams had been a 'small' part of the shows since mid-69, since April/May '69 was when they decided to make the shift to adding a lot more country/folk songs to the set. But starting around Dec '69, along with the addition of many new songs, they also started stretching out some 'rock' covers like Not Fade Away, Good Loving, Dancing in the Streets, that made their 1970 shows a lot more energetic than late '69 had been.

And I don't like the term 'transitional' at all....obviously, every year for the Dead is 'transitional' - 1970, 1980, 1990, you name it. 1969 is way more 'transitional' as far as that goes since their shows changed so much in that year. That said, 1970 is distinctive for the acoustic sets and all the jam-songs that got mysteriously dropped in 1971 (no more Easy Wind, Man's World, Dancing, Viola Lee, Caution - why??). By late 1970 they were already in their "Skullfuck" format of lots of short songs and not a whole lot of psychedelia.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: SkyDawg Date: Aug 22, 2008 9:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Broadcast

Here here! Without getting hung up on definitions, I think of 1970 as a year of "primal" shows too. I would also add the 11/6/70 and 3/21/70.. what the heck, ANY of the 1970 Port Chester shows as essential primal Grateful Dead.
If anyone downloads the 6/24/70 Port Chester show I suggest this link since the audience source is the same, (the Ken & Judy Lee master audience tapes), and it also contains the wonderful Swing Low Sweet Chariot encore which is missing from the other file set.